Letters to the Editor

Climate Change or Climate Disaster?

The term climate change is misleading in the wrong direction. Earth’s climate has changed many times over millions and billions of years.

What is happening now is a climate disaster. We, humans, are continuing to destroy ecosystems or biospheres that have supported life for billions of years. Calling this climate change is a way to make what’s happening sound much better than the reality of what we face.

I find that I am weirded out by now living “real time” in what’s been science fiction stories about a dystopian future. Like many science fiction fans, I’d hoped to someday find myself living in one of the exciting, promising science fiction futures (not utopia, but positive).

David Roy

Fresno

Transphobia, Racism and Equality 

As a near lifetime reader of the progressive Community Alliance newspaper, I was surprised to see a letter to the editor in the November 2021 issue titled “Thoughts on Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Monologues” in which the writer aligned himself with “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) and stated that “gender is fact.” 

I’m surprised that you would be lifting such bigoted voices and views. As many on the right might say, “gender is fact” is just common sense. If you look deeper into the topic, you’d find that science backs up that gender along with sex and sexuality is bimodal, not binary. While Chappelle and the letter writer highlight a tension between the LGBTQ community and the Black community around wider acceptance in our country, I don’t believe this division is helpful.

“He is trying to draw this adversarial relationship between trans people and Black folk, arguing that trans people have more access, but that simply isn’t true. And, honestly, the entire premise for this argument is flawed,” says Kat Blaque about Chappelle’s comedy special in a YouTube video. Let’s not pit minorities against each other. We need to work together to lift all marginalized communities.

I am neither Black nor a member of the LGBTQ community, therefore I would like to suggest several Black transwomen voices who I found had useful insight on this topic: comedian Dahlia Belle’s article on the NPR website, YouTuber Blaque’s video “Watching Dave Chappelle’s Full Special, Before Criticizing It…” and trans activist Blossom-Chrishelle Brown’s article in Dazed, “Standing up for the Black trans people erased by Dave Chappelle and Netflix.” Check out their work.

Simone Cranston-Rhodes

Fresno

Gender Is Not a Fact

Homer G. Greene Jr.’s apologia for the comedy of Dave Chappelle related to trans women, as PC as he has tried to make it, has one glaring problem. Binary gender is not a fact.

It appears Greene has managed (along with most of the rest of the population) to remain ignorant of the approximately 2,500 babies born in the United States each year with indeterminate sexual organs. Yes. The gender of one in every 1,500 babies born in this country each year is chosen by the doctor and the parents because their sexual anatomy doesn’t fit the boxes “female” or “male.”

Nevertheless, the babies are almost always assigned sex by the doctor, and often surgery is performed to make them more closely conform to the expectations of whatever gender their parents and/or doctor have decided on, based on whatever motivations may be in play.

In addition, there are those whose genitals and internal sex organs do not match, like an acquaintance of mine who grew to puberty as a girl, but failed to develop breasts or menstruate and was found to have no internal reproductive organs. Like many other intersex people, that was her first knowledge of anything unusual about her.

Others have combinations of chromosomes that are different from XY (male) or XX (female), such as XXY or XYY or others. If we add these births, the number of intersex births each year rises to 1 in 100 or more. Many of these people, including those whose gender was chosen at birth, probably die without ever knowing they are intersex. Others may struggle through years of denial and rejection, realizing they are trans, or through years of abject depression and confusion, not even knowing there is such a thing as non-binary.

So, wow, as generous as it is of Chappelle to use his “comedic platform to normalize trans people by telling jokes about them,” maybe both he and Greene could help more by just shutting the f— up about things they know nothing about. I don’t know how many trans people were born intersex, and I don’t need to know. What I do absolutely know is that [binary] gender is not a fact.

Rita Townsend

Fresno

The Republican God Is Dead and I Don’t Mean Trump 

Is the God that so many Republicans believe in dead or does it just seem that way? I say that because, for the past 40 years since Reagan was president, the Republican Party has basically repudiated every single one of Jesus’ teachings. I just don’t get it.

Jesus stood up for marginalized people, whereas many so-called Christian Republicans disparage marginalized people. They disparage war refugees who aided our country. They disparage Christian refugees at our southern border. They disparage trans soldiers that want to serve the country. They basically disparage everyone who is not like them.

Fact. Jesus was a peaceful, nonviolent revolutionary who hung out with common people and those on the fringes of society. He never spoke English, was not an American citizen, and never asked lepers for a co-pay. And he was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless Middle Eastern Jew. That certainly doesn’t describe the Jesus that the Trump-controlled Republican Party says they are in love with.

Jesus was all about helping the poor, feeding the hungry and healing the sick. Republicans are all about helping the rich, denying food stamps to the hungry and limiting healthcare for those without insurance.

True Christianity includes helping the most vulnerable among us. Jesus said that whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me. The least of these refers to those people on the margins of society who are barely getting by or those discriminated against in a multitude of ways.

In the last 40 years, the Republican Party has not proposed or supported even one legislative act that coincided with the teachings of Jesus. It’s absolutely amazing how the Republican Party has gotten the followers of Jesus to vote against everything Jesus ever taught them. I guess it’s just a lot easier to sit by and worship God from afar than it is to actually follow Jesus’ actual teachings.

I am sick and tired of seeing the teachings of Jesus—the teaching of my upbringing—being prostituted by a group of right-wing Republican Bible thumpers. Jesus is not a God to them, he’s just a prop.

Trump is their God. Someone who says that they love Jesus but supports Trump and his minions have not read either of their books. The only thing Trump has in common with Jesus is that they both hung out with prostitutes and used ghostwriters.

I was raised as a Christian but left the church in my college days. I shouldn’t say that I left the church, I should say that the church left me. But I still called myself a Christian.

Only recently, I began attending a progressive Christian church because most so-called Christian churches probably wouldn’t want me as a member and I certainly don’t want them. And I say that because I think that my beliefs are much larger than theirs.

During the past several years, the Republican Party has demanded that the Ten Commandments be posted in all schools and public buildings in order to instill morality among the people. For what purpose? Almost all people agree with them already.

Instead, I propose that we post the Beatitudes. Now those are rules worth following.

Paul Dunham

Fresno

Freedom to Vote Act a Bipartisan Self-Interest Move

Regarding the November letters to the editor, rarely is the ugly truth about the Freedom to Vote Act (SB 2747) revealed. Written with wonderful words to make needed changes to protect the constitutional right to vote, it also denies that these words were scrawled with the dirty hands of such blatant partisan self-interest from the Democratic Party. This bill should be rewritten to keep the good but remove the bad.

There are two major parts of this bill that if it becomes law will continue to deny millions of voters their right to vote including me. Millions of Americans are underrepresented in our current political system. So, let’s pass the Freedom to Vote Act but without its flawed public campaign funding section and independent (more accurately bipartisan) redistricting commission.

Democrats and Republicans have no desire to be restrained from receiving as much money as Corporate America can lavish on them. Contributions to assure that there will be no passage of Medicare for All; no end of the huge financial subsidies to the military, the pharmaceutical industry or the prison system; and nothing to help the homeless. Much more for the wealthy and much less for those who have serious needs to survive.

How can an independent commission exist when only two political parties are allowed to control it? Democrats, Republicans and former Democrats and Republicans disguised as unaffiliated are the only ones allowed on it. No Greens, no Peace and Freedom, no Libertarians or any other third parties that have been acknowledged by the State of California are allowed.

This bill guarantees gerrymandering for the current political party in power in each state to stay in power, whether Democrats in California or Republicans in Texas, for a long time.

Finally, this bill needs to be rewritten to protect all voters and not some of them. Remove the bad that affects the million plus me and keep the good. Again, the Democrats have given us a bill that on one hand promises a good idea but takes it away with the other hand. Time for the Democratic lawmakers and beakers to come clean.

Richard Gomez

Fresno County Green Party

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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